I noticed a weird thing when I was on the Old Navy webpage a couple of weeks ago. The women's plus size clothes cost more than the straight size clothes, but the largest men's size was the same price as the smallest.
I wondered if that was something that held up across the board, so I decided to do a comparison at stores that had both men's and women's clothes. Please behold my unscientific research!
I didn't notice until I put the screenshots side by side that Old Navy is using mannequins for the plus size clothes and actual women for the straight sizes. I am not loving that at all.
Also note the difference in the slogans available for each group. I'll let you draw your own conclusions, but I will note that 'Zzzz all day long' is only available for fat women to wear.
Again with the mannequin. Wtf. Also note the price difference.
And here we see that the exact same shirt goes up to a 3XL for the same price. Old Navy used to have plus sizes in their stores, but now they no longer carry them in the physical stores. If you receive an Old Navy coupon, it may not be good for women's plus sizes, and if you need to return anything, you would have to mail it back, rather than being able to bring it into a store like someone in straight sizes (or up to a men's XXXL) can.
The Gap and Banana Republic-
There's no women's clothing to compare here because the Gap and Banana Republic do not stock women's plus sizes. This is also true for Abercrombie and Fitch.
H & M-
What stands out to me the most with H & M is how few larger sizes they stock, in both men's and women's. This is always a problem, in every store, but it seemed particularly bad with H & M. Why bother saying you stock men's XXL, if that's only ONE shirt style?
The women's coat selection is poor but noticeably better than a week ago when I was first looking into this, where they had one parka, but had posted three photos of it in different colors to make it look like they actually had three coats. Pathetic.
This is actually the best you could hope for. The same selection, on appropriate models, for the exact same price. Good job, JC Penny!
There is a difference in price for the men's bigger sizing, but they did seem to have a good selection of items that had both size ranges. Even though I'd like to not see a fat tax on the men's big and tall clothes, JC Penny is the best of this bunch.
I really don't like velour hoodies. But I'm including them here because I almost couldn't find anything that was the same to compare. Not only are the Macys plus size clothes more money and there's fewer items to choose from, they mostly have completely different clothing than the styles they are selling in their straight sizes.
I hate this. I have always hated this. Old Navy is doing the same thing, and it's extremely common. The plus size clothes are frumpy and not on trend. They are frequently many seasons out of date fashion-wise and insultingly obsessed with being 'flattering' (covering up all your fat bits). No thank you.
Also, not every Macys has a plus size section in their physical store.
I gave up on trying to find a men's B&T that I could compare to it's exact same straight size item, because there just isn't one. The difference in price is appalling. HUGE thumbs down to Macys.
With Sears, I also had a really tough time finding items to match exactly to compare prices. There is a very limited range of extended sizes, especially for men. And of course, everything costs more, because it always does.
With Target, I had such a hard time finding things to compare, that I gave up. The screenshots are here to highlight the difference between the number of items available in extended sizes versus straight sizes. The number of bigger men's items is even worse than the women's.
Also, Target is always flirting with completely removing their plus size clothing from their physical stores. Because they suck.
Walmart has a pretty decent selection of extended sizes. They cost more, just because. But they do exist. Now when you hear someone make fun of fat people (by which they also often mean working class people) for wearing Walmart clothes, you can remind them that for larger people, a Walmart is often the only physical store they can go to that will have clothes in their size. You can also call that person a fatphobic, classist asshole.
Stores that I looked at but couldn't actually make any comparisons at all-
Forever 21 has their women's plus size line completely segregated into what is basically a whole different store. There is nothing to compare it to in straight sizes, except there were more straight sized clothes. Because there always are.
Forever 21 doesn't have men's extended sizes.
I also checked Urban Outfitters and Express. They don't carry any extended sizes at all.
So, that's US extended size shopping.
It's pretty pathetic when people say there aren't any clothes for larger people because they won't buy them. How on earth would you know that? We barely ever get an opportunity to buy them.
It adds up to an unfair tax on fat people.